Since 2014 BEMIS is a part of the NECE initiative (Networking European Citizenship Education) as a member of the “Hard-to-reach learners and youth” focus group. Within the group, we work with European learners, practitioners, researchers and policy makers from formal, non-formal and informal education.
Defining ‘Hard to Reach Groups’
‘Hard to Reach’ (HTR) is a term used loosely to describe a section of the community who are difficult to involve in an active participatory citizenship process. People who are culturally and linguistically diverse, migrant communities, indigenous, young, elderly, disabled and homeless people can be classified as hard to reach as well as the rural community. There are other groups who can be classified as Hard to Reach, which includes drug users, sex workers, people with high poverty levels, faith based communities, single parents and newly arrived migrant communities. In addition, people who left school without any education, communities who are marginalised or disadvantaged for various reasons.
Aims and vision of the group
The aim of the “Hard-to-reach learners and youth” focus group is to influence the service providers to empower hard to reach learners with the intention that this will enable them to become a part of a more cohesive and harmonious national entity, especially those who are disfranchised and disengaged from the system. We hope to create a cultural shift and attitudinal shift amongst both the service providers and the Hard to Reach Groups. This will be achieved by educational attainments, opening out opportunities, recognising and celebrating the roles played by the Hard to Reach Groups.
Our vision is to build a strong network of academics and practitioners from EU national organisations who will help to address and support the issues of HTR groups by building their capacity, skills, knowledge and creativity, engaging in and promoting learning in a respectful environment to enable them to air their issues and needs within a democratic process as active citizens. We aim to build partnership with other stakeholders and EU networks and expand member communication. The network will extend invitation and disseminate results to other networks across Europe.